Weekly Chapters (2/2)
Meanwhile, the street of the town of York is full of orange. A girl with brown hair that shone as if it’s gold could be seen ordering her subordinates around. And finally, a stage was erected.
Ortashia left Sir Randall to handle the preparation of the strategy they were working on and returned to the House of Lords on her own. To tell the truth, she was feeling a little exhausted. Her eyelids feel heavy due to the accumulated fatigue and adding to that, her wound is aching. Ah, this is bad. Thinking like that as she looked up, she let out a heavy sigh.
Opening the door to the House of Lords, Ortashia called out to see if anyone is present. Elize, who noticed Ortashia’s return, approached with her usual expressionless face.
[….welcome back. Good work.]
[Yes. I’m back…]
After answering lightly, Ortashia went past Elize. She stopped around the middle of the room, then looked over to her left and right. Elize tilted her head at this sight.
[Are you searching for someone?]
[No, no, I’m not….]
Ortashia, who had become light-headed, went to the dining room and quickly pushed the double door open.
There was only the long table in the wide open space. Several candles were placed on the table. No one was there. Ortashia then left the dining room in silence.
Next, she went up the stairs to the second floor. Crossing the narrow corridor and to the aisle on the right. This was where Ortashia’s group slept.
Ortashia stopped at the front of room 202. The sound of rustling trees filled the corridor.
Opening that room’s door, the first thing she noticed was the pile of empty liquor bottles on the floor, followed by clothes, leather boots, and dirty white wolf knight uniform scattered on the bed. It amazed her how the owner of this room treated these equipment so casually. She’s still a knight after all. Although it may not have anything to do with your pride, at least try to keep a clean appearance, thought Ortashia.
There is a strange scent in this room. Ortashia could smell the scent of sweat mixed among the fragrance of the liquor. She frowned. Her eye then turned toward something that was hanging on the ceiling.
Instead of a lamp, there was a person hanging there. All tied up in a rope. Ortashia spoke to that person.
[How is it, have you reflected a little――――――Riru?]
On the ceiling, there was Riru, tied up and hanged with the rope to the beam that served as one of the building’s foundation. The unfortunate girl had touched Ortashia’s berserk button so it’s only normal for Ortashia to punish her. The reason was, of course, because Riru was acting too intimate with Shingen. Ortashia later found out that it was a misunderstanding, but since she still felt uncomfortable, she decided to punish Riru to vent.
When ordered to tie her up, everyone happily obliged. They tied Riru in a cradle-like knot. Elize even thought out some inappropriate thing like manipulating the weight distribution so that Riru will hang around on her crotch area. At the same time, the rope would dig into her crotch deeper and deeper so that―――――――anyway, since it’s among companions, there is no risk of dying from this.
Since Riru’s mouth was covered by a cloth, only a muffled voice came out. It’s hard to tell what she’s saying. Despite that, Ortashia still stood there with her arms behind her back.
[Fufufu…..you should be grateful that it’s only this much. Originally it should be whipping. No! Death Sentence!!]
Those words made Riru’s body tremble. Knowing that Ortashia wasn’t joking, her face turned depressed.
[……Nmmowwwyy] (I’m sorry)
[Good grief. Next time, I won’t let you off this easily.]
Riru raised her head with her eyes screaming, E?! What?! After looking at Riru one last time before opening the door, Ortashia let out a sigh.
She had originally intended to ask for Shingen’s whereabouts, but Riru was in ta situation where she couldn’t give an answer so Ortashia left the room as it is. After closing the door back, she thought she could hear what seemed like Riru’s screaming, but she ignored it anyway because that girl needs to be punished like that for several more hours.
[Where is he…..?]
Shingen was not in his room when Ortashia took a look. Unable to find his location, Ortashia could only raise her eyebrows and started thinking.
Julienne is currently locked in her room developing a new concoction. When that girl is in the middle of research, she’ll be careless about anything else and thus unlikely to know where Shingen is. MIna is busy preparing dinner. Ortashia felt uncomfortable disturbing her.
[N~ I guess I have no choice but to look for him myself…]
She let out a sigh.
[By the way, why am I looking for him in the first place…?]
Nothing came up. That boy barely has any use for her. But still, her heart felt uneasy. It felt like she’s missing something. Restless from wanting to see his face. She wanted to quell this feeling. Ortashia is looking for Shingen exactly because she knew how to quell it. Then she realized.
Ortashia had a bitter face as she recalled how she first met Shingen.
[…..he was a lumberjack.]
Right now, the town’s lumberjacks are cutting the wood on the mountain just outside the town. Perhaps… She thought. She then immediately decided to head out to that mountain.
Looking up from the bottom of the mountain, there were lumberjacks cutting wood all around. This time they needed to lay a fence for protection so it will require a lot more wood. Because of that, a part of the mountain had become barren. In addition to that, everything had to be completed before the enemy arrived….so it’s rather unsettling.
Leaving that aside, Ortashia switched her focus to another place.
The wood processing is also near the bottom of the mountain. The lumberjacks gathered there and played their respective roles. Some were sharpening the log tips for protection against cavalry, some were adjusting the length to match the construction while some split the logs in half.
Overlooking that sight, Ortashia tried to call out Shingen’s name, thinking that he might be here. When she threw a glance to some of the lumberjacks, there was a figure of a boy whose black hair shone gold under the light of the sun. He was swinging his axe alongside other lumberjacks, processing the logs
It was a figure of someone who was used to this kind of work. A courageous man who supports his family, that’s what Ortashia saw. A different person from who she usually sees. Unknowingly, her face relaxed.
[So he can show such a figure too…..interesting…..]
[Yosh! This is the last! Everyone do your best!]
[ [ [ Ooooo! ] ] ]
Shingen had seamlessly merged into the crowd and, as if he has been working there for a long time, he looked quite close to the other lumberjacks. He had even seemed to have taken the leader position.
[Shingen! Here, please help us a bit!]
The other lumberjacks frequently counted on him for help. This side of Shingen enthralled Ortashia to the point that it’s a little hard for her to believe what she’s seeing.
Fascinated by the view, Ortashia decided to linger a bit longer. She sat down on the tree root nearby. Since it’s surprisingly comfortable, she rested her elbows on her knees and her hands on her cheeks. Although she’s sweating due to the heat of the sun, it’s still refreshing. ―――――to see this different of him.
[Apparently I….need to apologize.]
Ortashia didn’t see Shingen as himself but as Maruto. She wished that Maruto was still alive somewhere within Shingen. That’s why she felt comfortable with him.
However, she ignored Shingen’s own personality. Although their faces resemble to each other, he’s different from Maruto. It pained her heart and made her feel uncomfortable. Ortashia put her hand on her right eye and closed the left one. Sighing.
[Good grief……I really am a pathetic person. I kept denying even if it’s as clear as day, even now…… How miserable. I did not see Shingen for the man he really is….. To think I was called the strongest female general. I’m really ashamed of myself. Hey, Maruto……Don’t you think so too?]
Ortashia, who finally came to terms with herself, looked up to the sky, asking Maruto as he never said anything about it before. She could almost see his smiling face there. And for once, it didn’t feel uncomfortable for some reason. Rather, it made her feel calm.
[Don’t laugh at me, you idiot….]